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DALLAS – After batting .600 (12-for-20) with five home runs and 15 RBI, while scoring eight times in an undefeated (3-0-1) week, WKU junior OF Jake Sanford has earned his second straight Conference USA Hitter of the Week honor.  Florida Atlantic junior RHP Mike Ruff took the C-USA Pitcher of the Week award after striking out 11 batters over 7.2 shutout innings to win a 1-0 pitchers’ duel over FIU.  All Conference USA weekly awards are presented by Top of the World.
 
Sanford went 12-for-20 with two walks in three games vs. Charlotte and a midweek contest at Eastern Kentucky.  He smacked five home runs and drove in 15 runs, while also scoring eight times.  The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, native produced a .600/.636/1.400 slash line for the week, helping the Hilltoppers go 3-0-1. 
 
In Tuesday’s 12-9 victory at Eastern Kentucky, Sanford went 3-for-6 with three home runs, eight runs batted in and four runs scored.  He became the first WKU player to hit three homers in a game since Jordan Newton in 2006, and only the fourth C-USA hitter to do so since 2010.  His eight runs batted in were the most by a Hilltopper since at least 2005 (when game-by-game records are available) and tied for the fifth-most in C-USA history.  Sanford continued his tear over the weekend, going 9-for-14 against the 49ers — including back-to-back four-hit games to cap the series — with two home runs, seven RBI and four runs scored. 
 
Across Division I this season, Sanford’s 14 home runs rank second and his 42 RBI are tied for fourth, while his 93 total bases and .886 slugging percentage each stand third overall.  He is the first back-to-back C-USA Hitter of the Week winner since the 2006 season and Sanford was also named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball.  
 
Ruff continued his hot streak as of late, earning the Saturday night win and pitching into the eighth inning against FIU in a classic 1-0 pitcher’s duel.  He scattered four hits in 7.2 innings, a new career high, and set another best standard with 11 strikeouts.  After issuing a leadoff walk, he retired 16 of the next 17, including a stretch of 10 in a row.  Of the four hits against the junior right-hander, all singles, two were bunts and one was a dribbler in front of the plate (with the other being the only one to leave the infield).  Prior to his final inning, only one runner reached second base, and the eighth was the only frame that multiple runners got on base against him.
 
2019 WINNERS:
Hitter of the Week – Feb. 18 – Trei Cruz, SS, Rice; Feb. 25 – Colton Schultz, OF, UAB; Mar. 4 – Andrew Dunlap, OF, Rice; Mar. 11 – Shane Hanon, OF, Marshall; Mar. 18 – Francisco Urbaez, 2B, Florida Atlantic; Mar. 25 – Jake Sanford, OF, WKU; Apr. 1 – Jake Sanford, OF, WKU.
Pitcher of the Week – Feb. 18 – Zach Keenan, RHP, Middle Tennessee; Feb. 25 – Walker Powell, RHP, Southern Miss; Mar. 4 – Jackson Parthasarathy, RHP, Rice; Mar. 11 – Logan Allen, LHP, FIU; Mar. 18 – Ryne Moore, RHP, Old Dominion; Mar. 25 – Logan Allen, LHP, FIU and Walker Powell, RHP, Southern Miss; Apr. 1 – Mike Ruff, RHP, Florida Atlantic.